People tend to have an emotional response when they see colors as different colors can evoke feelings of happiness or sadness, excitement, relaxation, aggravation, warmth, or coldness.  Understanding color psychology, or how colors can trigger feelings and emotional responses, can help businesses improve their branding.  A major part of branding is the colors associated with the brand that are used in the designs for the fonts, logos, and graphics found on their website, signage, and other promotional materials.

In this guide, we will discuss how businesses and marketers can use the principles of color psychology to choose colors that evoke certain feelings for their branding.  Incorporating colors in your branding designs such as logos and signs can enhance your messaging and reach potential customers on an emotional level.

What is Color Psychology?

The psychology of color is a pervasive technique that marketers and branding specialists use throughout the creation and display of a brand.  When we think of logos and signage, we may think that someone simply picked a color off a wheel and rolled with it.  But there’s much more to it than that.  Did you know that the strategic use of color in your branding uses emotions to create higher lead conversion?  That is if you do it right.

The role of color usage in branding and signage is to appeal to a subconscious, “gut feeling” in your customers.  Colors do not communicate direct information, but rather evoke intuitive feelings about the values of your brand.  This will predispose your customers and visitors to feel a certain way before making a purchase or interacting with your branding in any way.

Vehicle wrap - orange and brown colors
Vehicle wrap - orange and brown colors

Most Frequently Used Colors

Different colors can evoke different emotions based on personal feelings about colors as well as cultural associations.  Color psychology includes general descriptions of color associations that are widely used as a guide for determining the best colors to use for branding and marketing.  It is important to remember that while these color associations are an effective guide, this is not an exact science as some people may react differently to certain colors for personal or cultural reasons.

The following are the most frequently used colors and their associations:

Brilliant blue: The color psychology of blue says that it should invoke feelings of trust and integrity in the brand.  Because the color blue is tranquil and strong, it can make your client feel loyal and create an intelligent atmosphere.

Glorious green: Green is synonymous with nature and the environment, which means that it can create a feeling of harmony and balance when used in branding.  It usually has a calming effect if it’s used in the right shades.  Green can create an atmosphere that portrays growth and freshness.

Youthful yellow: It doesn’t take much thought to know that yellow creates visions of youth and happiness.  It’s one of the most cheerful colors on the color spectrum.  Invoking feelings of motivation and inspiration, yellow can be beneficial to a brand that wants to be seen in a positive light.

Passionate pink and purple: Purple is a color often associated with spirituality and pride.  If your brand is looking to inspire feelings of creativity, passion, and imagination, then this is the color for you.  Pink, on the other hand, promotes a feeling of love and compassion.  Also, if your brand is focused on a feminine audience, it’s great in inspiring a potential client to feel emotionally connected to the brand.

Ravishing red: Red is an extremely powerful color.  Think of how many global brands use the color red in their branding and the impact it makes.  Red also inspires passion from those viewing it and can create an emotional connection tied to excitement, power, and vigor.

Classic and classy black and white: Black inspires seriousness and sophistication, if your brand is elegant and aimed at a higher income bracket, then it’s one of the best colors you can use in your branding to make a statement.  White is the opposite of black, stirring feelings of innocence, purity, and simplicity.  But it is a color that needs to be used alongside a companion to create a powerful reaction in your ideal customer.

Lobby sign
Lobby sign

Determine Your Message

As discussed in the above section, different colors evoke different feelings and responses that can enhance your marketing message.  In order to evoke the feelings that you want from your customers through colors, you must first determine your message.  

Your business must decide what feelings you want your branding to convey, and then use the guide above to decide on the colors that you think will best accomplish this.  You can also consider different color combinations to evoke a range of feelings and create more interesting branding designs.  If you choose the right color combinations that reflect the values of your brand, you will create a good feeling within your customers before any interaction takes place.

How to Use Colors in Signage Designs

While the associations with colors in color psychology is a good place to start when deciding on your branding colors and how to use them, there are other things you must consider when it comes the use of colors in signage designs.  Even when a color fits the feeling you want, it may not be practical to use it in certain situations.

Keep the following in mind when using colors in your sign designs:

Visibility: The most important thing to consider with sign design is the visibility.  Make sure you use colors that can be easily seen from a distance and where the sign is located.  For example, do not use colors that are difficult to see, such as dark colors in a dark area, or colors for wall signs that match the color of the wall.  Contrasting colors will help your signs stand out more and make them easier to see from a distance. You should also avoid using the same colors as a neighboring business as this could create confusion amongst your customers.

Context: Context matters as certain types of signage are more impactful in certain environments.  For example, signs in a retail store advertising a special promotion are more impactful if they use bold colors while wayfinding signage should be simple and easy to read.

Consistency: Your branding should be consistent across all media, including your signage. You should use the same logo and colors for your signage that you use on all branding materials.  Consistency with your branding improves brand familiarity and further establishes brand identity.

Impression: The colors you choose for your branding play a major role in the impression that customers get of your business.  Colors evoke feelings and create ambiance that people remember and associate with their experience with your brand. Your signage should be designed and displayed to stand out and create the impression you want to leave on your customers.

School signage
School signage - blue and red

Colorful Signage from Divine Signs and Graphics

The First Thing Your Customer Sees

What’s the first thing they see when they walk in the door?  Are they greeted by a bland lobby?  Is your brand immediately visible when they enter the door?  What is the first thing their eyes are drawn to?  

Our team at Divine Signs and Graphics will work collaboratively with you to find the perfect signage solution for the interior and exterior of your space!  The age-old saying, “You only get one chance at a first impression,” is undeniably true when it comes to your office space and how you use color psychology to drive your brand’s message home.

For color psychology to truly have an impact, contact us for custom signage today!

Call Divine Signs and Graphics at (847) 534-9220 to start creating your custom signage.

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February 9, 2023

Brooke Maloney

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